Come enjoy my world of Fantasy and Steampunk creations.

Mystic Reflections' Creations

Mystic Reflections' Creations

Caralyn's Events and Appearances

  • Feb. 23rd-24th 2018 - ConNooga, Chattanooga TN
  • Nov. 17th-19th 2017 - Atlanta Steampunk Exposition: Atlanta GA
  • Nov. 11th - 12th 2017 - Christmas at Lithia Springs High school, Lithia Springs GA
  • Oct. 7th 2017 - RevFest: Rev Coffee Smyrna GA
  • Sep. 1st-4th 2017 - DragonCon: Atlanta GA

My Blogs

Let's see what I have been up to. :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Then and Now Polymer Clay Creations: Always Keep Trying!

I have been trying to help encourage fellow artists recently by posting some of my older sculptures from when I first started sculpting. I remember the day I decided to start working with clay like it was yesterday. It was 2006 and I was at a very small craft show in June. It was hot, and my husband, sister, brother-in-law and I had only seen about three customers the entire six hours we had been at the show. At that time I was only making 2D artwork to sell and as we set in the heat looking through my prints my sister announced "Wouldn't it be neat to make fairies to set around your art booth". There you have it, that little phrase got us all talking and coming up with ideas, since there wasn't much else to help pass the time. The next week I was working with clay. My pieces back then were nothing to write home about (not sure if anyone uses that colloquialism anymore but...) it was a beginning and has now surpassed my then expectations of my little business. It doesn't matter how you get started, no-one starts out as an expert. I have been sculpting with Polymer clay for over a decade now. Even though I have had several years of practice I am still improving every day. My technique changes and is refined with almost every piece. I love to encourage artists to keep trying and never give up; you only get experience by doing.
So to help motivate, here are some of my "Then and Now" Polymer clay creations.
Steampunk Animal Pals, rabbit, fox, hedgehog and mouse.



Steampunk Squirrel and Raccoon 




My Dragon Pals never get tired of Candycorn.

Left Dragon from 2011, Right Dragon from 2016


Even my husband's covers for his Winston and Baum books
have come a long way, from the 1st novel to the 4th. 
I hope this blog helped inspire, I know it always helped me to see how far artist's had improved over the years.
For more information on the Winston and Baum Books.
Thanks for reading,
~Caralyn

Thursday, May 17, 2018

I say Gryphon and you say Griffin

Back again with a Step by Step blog for you all today. :)
I am working hard on building my inventory up for the Dragon Con Art Show in September. Last Dragon Con cleaned me out so I will have a whole bunch of new pieces this year. 
So here is one of my gallery pieces, a Gryphon (Griffin) and I am super excited about it because this is the first one of these I have made on this scale(over 3 inches) before.  
As always, I started with the general shape I wanted, used glass beads for the eyes and began to sculpt small details into the face and torso. I wanted this Gryphon to look sort of like a parakeet so I kept his beak short.

Also I wanted my gryphon to have feline-like back legs and bird-like front legs. So I made his little clawed feet and began to build then up with hair. Giving him a puffy chest.

Time to add some color to our guy. I normally start with colored polymer clay but since I wasn't sure what color I wanted when I started, I had to use white. It didn't take me long to figure out his color scheme though. Since he was already very parakeet-esque I went with blue and white.

Now to add some ears, because a gryphon without ears is just a bird with a lion butt. LOL  
(Fun Fact: Back when the crest or suit of arms was just an animal head, the gryphon would often be mistaken for a bird or eagle head so it was then always depicted with ears to clear up any confusion.)

Now usually I am diligent about photographing my steps but with this piece I got super excited and neglected to take pictures of my process of making the wings for this guy. No worries, my phoenix I did last year is happy to help with an explanation collage. :)
Traditionally gryphons only have one set of wings but our guy needs to be special so he gets two! I couldn't decide which position I wanted , open or folded, so I went with both. That is one of the great things about fantasy creatures, you can make them look however you want, your imagination is the limit. :)  
I like my gryphons to be very cat-like aswell so this little one is going to get a nice fluffy tail to finish him off.


He is all sculpted, now we can paint small details to our sculpture.




Our Little Gryphon is ready for his Art Show debut.
This sculpture will be available in September at the Dragon Con Art Show.  
Hope you enjoyed my step by step blog.
Check out my social media sites for more of my artwork. :) 
Thanks for reading!
~Caralyn 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Giving Little Red her Hood

In many of my blogs I have walked you through, step by step, how I make my fairies/Myxies, framed or other. Here are a few of my step by step fairy blogs if you missed them. :)
Step by Step Unicorn Fairy
Step by Step Robin's Egg Fairy 
Step by Step Framed Fawn
Step by Step Myxie
I usually start with the head and move onto the torso, finishing up with the hands and feet. In this blog I am going to tell you a little about the process that comes after you have finished sculpting a piece.
With this piece I also sculpted her some white gloves. For form fitting clothing such as gloves or stockings, I usually use clay to avoid a bulky look on such a small sculpture.
I don't always jump around with a piece but this one had a small accessory that I was anxious to get started on. With white polymer clay I sculpted a fun tiny Wolf Mask. This mask would be the focal point of the sculpture. I cut out the wolf shape and sculpted teeny swirls into the face. Added a stick and baked for a lovely masquerade prop.

My Unicorn Fairy modeled my mask for me. 
After I have completed sculpting my piece and attaching it to the frame or base or whatever they will be displayed on, I then paint tiny details to the face and body. I like to use colored Polymer Clay because I think it gives a softer look than painted clay so the small details are the only parts that will be painted. For the pink skin hues I use chalk pastels, again it is softer than using paint in my opinion. I shave some of the chalk dust off and use a paint brush to add the color to the sculpture's skin. Then I use acrylic paint to add the color around the eyes, lips, eyebrows and details on the fingernails.




For this sculpture I am giving her eyelashes. I cut small strands of doll hair and glue them in place one at a time. This is super time consuming but I haven't figured out a better method of getting realistic eyelashes. I then coat the hair with gloss to keep it stiff. Now my girl has lashes.
Her gloves are then painted and jazzed up with some black beads.

Now lets get this lady some clothes.
By taking small sections of fabric and gluing them in place on her torso, I can make a fun little dress without even using a sewing machine. Sometimes hand sewing is required but it never takes long on such a teeny doll. I made all her clothes and accessories black and white so when I added her Red cloak it would POP!

But before we can make her Riding Hood, we must give this girl some hair. I portion small sections/locks of doll hair out and glue each small lock to her head. I start at the base of her skull and keep building lock over lock until her head is full. Then I style it.
Time to give her a Hood. For the cloak I mostly hand sewed and then glued it in place. Since this piece is a framed sculpture, I didn't want the hood to move too much so it would not mess with the look of the piece.
She is All Done! Little Red Rising Hood is ready for he fairytale.




So I hope that explains a little more of my after sculpting process. When you work with mixed media, your work is not done just because you finished sculpting.
This lovely piece will be available in September at my Dragon Con Art Show Gallery.
Thank you all for reading.
~Caralyn    

Monday, April 16, 2018

Practice Makes Perfect Artists

Hello Art Fans!
Today I just wanted to encourage everyone to keep trying. Practice always makes perfect. I started sculpting for my art business in 2006. I hadn't discovered Polymer clay yet and I was using an air drying paper clay. (I do not recommend paper clay for delicate sculptures but this material works alot better for very large pieces.)

Here is one of my 1st little fairies I ever created compared to one of my pieces from 2017.
As you can see I hadn't refined much skill yet, I couldn't sculpt fingers or toes on that small scale yet and put very little detail into my pieces.  
It has taken over a decade, alot of patience, practice, trial and error to make the sculptures I make today so don't give up artists. Try try again. :)

That is my inspirational speech for the day, Thank you

Here is another blog I did for my "Then and Now" steampunk animals.

Thanks for reading!
~Caralyn

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Look and See Her, How She Sparkles!

Getting started on my larger sculpture inventory. I have a big sci-fi/fantasy convention coming up in the beginning of September that I vend at every year. Some of you probably already know about Dragon Con. It is my largest show each year and I need plenty of merchandise for it. So I am working on my pieces for the gallery in the Dragon Con Art Show.
I like to start with an uncomplicated sculpture to help motivate and loosen up my creative muscles. I usually begin with a fairy or fae creature and I try to keep the details to a minimum, no complex outfits, accessories or appendages.
I like to start with the face/head of my sculptures. The face is the most important part of the sculpture, in my opinion. The face can determine the attitude for the entire piece.
First you roll the polymer clay into a ball and form the ball into a head shape.
Then eyes are inserted into the clay ball. I like to use glass beads to make the pupils for my eyes. For this sculpture I chose Pink eyes.
Whoa man, what was in that drink? LOL 
Next I form the eye lids and build up the cheeks of my sculpture's face.

A tiny ball of clay is placed in the center of the face, just below the eyes. Then it is formed into a little nose.

Another teeny clay ball is placed below the nose and shaped into a mouth.

Since this fairy sculpture is going to be a Unicorn Fae(Fairy), I twisted some white clay together to form a fun horn and attached it to her forehead.

And an oval of clay pinched in the middle makes some nice horse ears to finish the look.

Now to work on her body. This piece will be attached to a frame so I only need to sculpt half a torso.
I start with a rounded rectangle and smooth out two tear drop shapes on the chest and a triangle just below, around a wire frame.

I work on the upper arms and shoulders next.

Why Hello there good lookin.


Let's make some arms and hands now. Start with a clay rod and form a wrist.
Cut the fingers into the tip and smooth them out, making sure to cut them to the right length.



Even though her hands will be folded together, I still always sculpt the underside of the hands.
Bend the fingers into the position you desire and attach them and the arms to the torso.
Her hands and neck are the last to be sculpted and then she is baked for half the allotted time.

Attach her to the the frame and bake again. Since Polymer clay cooks at such a low temperature, I have never had issues with my frames burning.
Once she is baked, small details are painted on. I like to brush pastels on for the pink hues in her skin and I use acrylics for the tiny details.



Now this little bald beauty needs some hair.
I separate doll hair into small batches and glue each patch into place on her head. And now she is complete!
Unicorn Fae framed Sculpture. 





I hope you enjoyed this Step-by-Step blog. Here is another post you might like.
Don't Fawn Over Her too much.
Thanks for reading,
~Caralyn